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Cry Havoc

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Stiles remembers everything from the time he spent in Boston, everything that happened when he thought that he was someone else. At least, he remembers as much as anyone ever remembers a stretch of time that long; not all the details, maybe—what he had for breakfast back in October, or exactly how many times he tried mastering the Lotus Kick before he finally accepted that it wasn’t going to happen—but the broad strokes. The biggest, most important things.

 

What he can’t remember is how he managed to make it that long without Lydia Martin having his back.

 

He might regret that phrasing later, but right now he’s finding it extraordinarily apt.

 

He’s spent the past three days working his way back into his old life as best he can: the legal work he’s been doing with his dad has been taking up the most time and energy, as he quickly discovered that coming back from the dead is a bit of a complicated process. Luckily it’s been made clear to him that he’s more than welcome to stay at his father’s house until he gets back on his feet, in his old room where hardly a thing has changed since the day he moved out.

 

Then there have been hours spent at the cafe, relearning all of the million little ins and outs of the business that he once knew by heart. And of course as much time as he can manage with his friends, and with the two eighteen-month-old terrors that he’s already hopelessly in love with. No matter what Allison says, he’s convinced that he’s almost taught Remy to say Uncle Stiles. Kara still isn’t anywhere close, but he suspects that’s just because she wants to make him work for it.

 

Every spare moment of time in between has been spent going over the notes that Lydia left him; texting her reminders that she and Jackson have promised to move back once she’s finished her Ph.D., and that Bryce can’t stop asking about Danny; getting messages back that she’s going to block his number, followed by pictures of the Beacon Hills real estate listings. Most of all, he’s been endlessly poking and prodding at his memories until he’s reasonably sure that there’s nothing still left waiting to be discovered.

 

Stiles reached that conclusion approximately an hour ago, and had immediately called Derek to come over. Since then he’s been pacing the floor like a bad cliche, and when the doorbell rings he nearly trips over the living room rug in his rush to answer it. He ends up hip-checking an end table and stumbles, cursing under his breath, to the entryway.

 

Derek’s expression, when Stiles finally manages to open the door, reveals absolutely nothing at all. If he knows why Stiles asked him here he’s not letting on, and Stiles feels his certainty falter before he ruthlessly shores it back up. He steps aside, nodding in wordless invitation; opens his mouth, closes it again, and grabs at his head in frustration when Derek isn’t looking.

 

“So. Thanks for coming. Over. Thanks for coming over. Y’know.” Stiles gestures expansively. “Here.”

 

Derek just raises an eyebrow, regarding Stiles like he’s moments away from speaking in tongues. “You said you needed my help with something.”

 

“I do.” Stiles takes a deep breath. “Do you want a drink or something?”

 

“No,” Derek says slowly. “What I’d like is for you to tell me what I’m doing here.”

 

“You mean besides making me question my own problem-solving abilities?” Stiles mutters. It looks for a moment like Derek is going to comment on that, or possibly lose his patience and just leave, and Stiles finds himself blurting out, “There are still some things I don’t remember.” He takes in the surprise on Derek’s face and sighs. “Okay, see, there was supposed to be, like, a build-up there. But yeah, basically . . . there’s still . . . stuff.”

 

Derek takes a small, cautious step forward, and that one movement has fresh hope blooming in Stiles’s chest.

 

“Have you talked to Deaton about it? You already broke through ever part of the brand; you should be remembering everything.” Derek looks worried, but that’s not all. He looks, Stiles thinks, just a little bit like he might be afraid to hope, too.

 

“The last of the branches, yeah. But—see, look.” Stiles darts back, into the living room where the file that Boyd gave him is scattered over the coffee table, interspersed with Lydia’s notes. He picks up a stapled sheaf of papers and turns to find Derek right behind him and Stiles’s heart thumps hard against his ribs. “This, right here.” He flips to the picture of his tattoo, tapping a finger against the complicated, twisting design at the center of the stylized trunk. “Lydia thinks that’s where it started—that’s the one that all the others grew from. Which makes sense, you know, since she thinks it means . . .”

 

Derek hardly bothers to glance at the picture Stiles is still holding out. He’s staring at Stiles like he’s trying to see into him, into whatever precious few secrets he has left.

 

“Means what?”

 

Stiles clears his throat. “‘Center’. It was . . .” He takes an unsteady breath. “That’s the closest she could come; she said it looks like some sort of weird hybrid symbol or something. But the thing is—see, I need you to try not to be a jerk, and let me down easy if I’m wrong—but I’m pretty sure that the thing I haven’t remembered yet is you.”

 

“Stiles—”

 

“No, okay, listen. All right? I need you to listen. There are these holes, like . . . I know we own the cafe together, I’ve seen the paperwork, but I don’t remember that. I don’t remember a single thing about starting my own freaking business. Or my apartment when I moved out of this house; my graduation from college; god, meeting Darcy before—she said I had, that I’d fought against her pack, and I don’t remember it. And there are a hundred other little things, memories where everything else is all filled in around the edges, but almost the entire year before I was taken is just blank.

 

“I remember . . .” He lets his eyes fall closed as he forces the words out. “I remember how I felt about you. Wanting you. Being stupidly, hopelessly in love with you even when it seemed like you could hardly stand me. I mean, it’s not like I wasn’t used to pining over someone I’d never have a shot with, but . . .” Stiles forces his eyes open again, and forces them to meet Derek’s, still watching him steadily. “Did I? It feels like I did. You feel like mine, so I need—I really need you to tell me if that’s not true, okay, so I can just get to work digging straight through to the center of the earth, because—”

 

Stiles.” Derek is trying not to smile; Stiles knows it as sure as he knows his own name—which, for the record, is a memory he could’ve done without getting back. “Turn around.”

 

His breath catches in his throat as he complies, already reaching down to grasp the hem of his shirt, slowly pulling it up towards his ribs. Derek doesn’t wait to slide his hand underneath, palm pressed firmly along the line of Stiles’s spine as his fingers splay out, unmistakably possessive. With one fingertip he follows the lines of the tattoo, tracing the loops and swirls until goosebumps spread beneath his hand. It’s only then that Stiles feels the first scrape of claws against his skin, and he focuses hard on the warmth of Derek’s skin and the comfort of his touch as his heart begins to lurch in remembered fear.

 

“Deep breath,” Derek says quietly. “I won’t hurt you,” he adds, and Stiles has to laugh.

 

“All change hurts. Also, you’re about to slice into my back. Just do it.”

 

It’s quick, and nearly painless, but vicious for all of that. Stiles’s hands tremble as a shudder wracks its way through him—like the aftermath of orgasm without the pleasure that goes along with it. He drops his shirt, belatedly realizing that Derek has already pulled his hand away, and shifts his shoulders. His skin itches, a persistent irritation that grows more and more intense with every passing moment. He’s on the verge of asking Derek to scratch his back for him, ha-ha, already did that, good joke, when the itching abruptly stops, replaced by a strange ticklish feeling against his skin. Stiles hears Derek catch his breath behind him, and glances over his shoulder.

 

“What?”

 

Stiles starts to turn, slightly unsteady on his feet. He has to pause to regain his balance, and as he glances down he sees it: a drift of black against the thick pile of the carpet, like someone has been scattering ashes.

 

With a still-trembling hand he reaches back, beneath his shirt, and feels something gritty against his skin. His fingers are smudged with black when he pulls them out again; he stares, unable to look away as his head begins to spin.

 

“Stiles?”

 

“I’m . . .” He can’t turn around, can’t deal with even the thought of meeting Derek’s eyes right now. “I’m okay.” He is; a little dizzy, but nothing like last time. “I’ll be fine.”

 

There’s a warm, broad hand against his shoulder for just a moment. “You need to lie down,” Derek says, “before you fall down. We’ll talk when you’re ready.”

 

Stiles’s body seems to be growing somehow distant, removed, and he realizes that he’s not quite as unaffected as he’d thought. He thinks that maybe Derek is still there, holding him up, keeping him steady; he feels warm, and safe, and he lets his eyes drift closed as he falls. Into sleep, into dreams; into memory; into—

 

It’s not even the full moon; why is something showing up now?” Derek might be downstairs, but Stiles knows he can still hear him, and he sees no reason for the fact that they’re on different floors to stop him from complaining. “You said this was an instinct thing. If they can’t control themselves two days before the new moon, we’re gonna have to send them all back to obedience school.”

 

I think this one is from Jackson.” Derek must be on his way up; yes, there are his footsteps on the stairs, a little heavier than usual, and Stiles sits up in sudden alarm.

 

Are you bringing it up here?” he squawks.

 

You won’t come down to see them anymore.”

 

There’s laughter in Derek’s voice, the asshole, which is completely unfair; it’s still a rare enough sound that just hearing it makes Stiles want to laugh in return. Laughter is not an appropriate response to bloody dead things in their bedroom.

 

One mangled raccoon was more than enough, thanks. I mean, the look on Isaac’s face for the next couple of weeks was pretty great, but—no, I don’t wanna see—!” Derek’s definitely laughing now as he steps back into the room, and Stiles lowers his arms, deflating with a mixture of relief and annoyance. “Oh my god, you are an asshole.”

 

Hey, you don’t have to eat any if you don’t want to.” He sets the giant wicker basket on the dresser and pokes through the fruit until he finds a pear. Derek doesn’t even like pears.

 

I hate you. Take your pants off and get back over here.”

 

Derek laughs again, moving over to sit on the edge of the bed. He doesn’t make a move to pull off the fleecey grey pajama bottoms he pulled on when he went to answer the door, but that’s okay; Stiles is sure he can talk him out of them in another minute or two. In the meantime he leans in to slide his hand over Derek’s bare shoulders, and when Derek holds the pear to his lips he doesn’t hesitate to take a bite. It’s ripe and sweet; juice spills over his lips and onto his chin, and personal preferences be damned, that’s apparently more than Derek can handle. He moves in to lick Stiles’s skin clean, and they both get distracted for several long minutes, trading sticky sweet kisses.

 

You are so weird,” Stiles finally manages to murmur against his lips, kissing him one more time before he leans back again to suck at the juice that’s pooling in the crater his teeth have left in the pear’s soft white flesh.

 

Says the guy performing oral sex on a piece of fruit.”

 

Stiles snorts out a laugh and takes another bite. “You say you don’t like these,” he says, waving the pear in Derek’s face, “but you didn’t have any problem with hoovering the juice off of my tongue just now. I think you’re full of shit and you like the taste just fine.”

 

I like the way you taste,” Derek says lowly.

 

Oh, really?” Stiles lets out a groaning laugh. “You did not just try to seriously use that line. You are so lucky I already want in your pants. And I notice you’re not exactly denying my hypothesis, either. C’mon, take a bite.” He shoves the fruit at him again, snickering when Derek jerks back. “It’s good for you! You wanna be a big strong alpha wolf, don’t you?” Stiles grabs Derek by the wrist and tugs, cackling and climbing on top when Derek lets himself be manhandled onto his back.

 

Cut it out.” The growl is less than convincing considering the smile that Derek can’t quite hide.

 

One bite,” Stiles coos. “You don’t eat enough fruit, you’re gonna get scurvy.”

 

Citrus fights scurvy. Pears are pome fruit.”

 

Look who’s suddenly a botanist. Fine, though, I’m pretty sure there are oranges in that basket, too, we’ll do one of those next. C’mon, eat! This is your freaky werewolf tribute, too, you know! I mean, it’s no deer carcass, but still.”

 

It’s not, though.” Derek’s face has gone serious. He runs his hands over Stiles’s bare thighs, making him shiver. “Mine. This is about you. It’s the pack acknowledging you as . . .”

 

As what?” Stiles grins. “C’mon, you can say it.”

 

No.”

 

Oh come on! Say it, or take a bite of this delicious fruit, but one or the other, you’ve—” Stiles rolls his eyes as Derek leans up and takes a bite, chewing sullenly. “You know, you’re lucky I’m secure in myself and our relationship, or you’d be giving me serious issues here.”

 

It sounds . . .” Derek swallows and sighs, rolling his eyes. Rolling his whole head, actually, in the way that Stiles probably shouldn’t find adorable, because it generally means that he’s either really exasperated or extremely embarrassed. Or both. “It sounds ridiculous when you say it out loud.”

 

Okay, first of all, you’re talking to the reigning king of ridiculous. Really not something that should hold you back. Second, dude, we live together; we own a business together; you’ve plighted your werewolfy troth to me; we’re about as close to being married as you can get without the actual ceremony.” Stiles goes still for a moment before he reaches out to toss the rest of the pear into the trash can next to the bed. “Not that . . . I mean, I’m not trying to say that we should . . . okay, this is probably not a conversation to have when I’m, like, straddling you.”

 

Derek rolls his eyes again and pulls him down, one hand wrapped around the back of Stiles’s neck as he kisses him long and deep.

 

It’s maybe something we could talk about,” he finally says, moving his mouth to Stiles’s jaw to nip at the delicate skin there.

 

It—wait, really?” Stiles tries to lean up, but with Derek’s arms wrapped around him he doesn’t accomplish much more than a suggestive wiggle. Which, hey, that works too. “Are you serious? Derek. Derek, stop biting me and tell me if you’re bullshitting me right now.”

 

The sigh that Derek heaves out slides over Stiles’s damp skin and makes him shiver. “I’m serious. We can talk about it. Later.”

 

Sure. Later.” Stiles hides his smile in the curve of Derek’s neck, and it only grows when Derek’s arms tighten around him. “We’ve got plenty of time.”

 

It’s a difficult thing, waking up again. He slides his hand beneath the pillow, reaching instinctively for . . . he doesn’t quite know what. It hardly seems important at first; he’s warm and comfortable where he is, wrapped in blankets and memories and unwilling to emerge. But the certainty that something’s missing nags at the back of his mind, pricking insistently at his thoughts. And still there’s nothing for his questing fingers to find, nothing—

 

Stiles jerks upright, flailing against covers that suddenly seem constricting. He can’t remember the last time he fell asleep without a weapon close at hand, ready in case of emergencies. His head gives a slow, dull throb as he tosses the pillow aside and finds nothing but bare sheets beneath it.

 

“Stiles?”

 

He jerks, twisting around and tangling his legs more firmly in the blankets as he searches for the source of the voice. There’s a soft creak from almost directly ahead; Stiles squints into the darkness, trying to force his eyes to adjust, and finally he manages to make out a vague shape, limned in light from the window.

 

Derek. Derek, sitting in the desk chair in Stiles’s old bedroom. Stiles can make out other familiar shapes now: the bookcase standing against one wall; his dresser, the top covered with a scattering of junk that his college-senior self had for some reason seen as indispensable; his baseball bat leaning against the nightstand.

 

“Seriously,” he groans, burying his face in his hands, “what is up with you carrying me up to bed? And not even putting out, which is just common courtesy at this point.”

 

There’s a soft snort from across the room, and the sound of his desk lamp clicking on. Stiles is glad he still has his eyes covered.

 

“Sorry,” Derek says dryly. “I’ve never really been into somnophilia.”

 

“Look at you, with your impressive vocabulary,” Stiles teases. “You did always like it better when I was awake enough to be loud about it, though.”

 

His breath catches, and he lifts his head slowly, still wary of the light. Derek is watching him through carefully guarded eyes, and for a moment Stiles’s vision seems to double, triple, images stacked one over the other until he loses count. Derek years younger, his face rounder and smoother and angrier all at once; letting out a laugh, deep and genuine, that surprises him as much as Stiles; panicked and desperate as he presses blood-drenched hands hard against Stiles’s side and shouts for help; staring up at him in frustration and apology, with all the words he’d never been able to say plastered clear as day across his face, waiting for Stiles to read them.

 

“We were going to talk,” Stiles says.

 

He can’t say for sure who he’s talking to: the Derek with the taste of Stiles and pears fresh on his lips, or the one sitting in his rickety roller chair with an expression he can’t read. Doesn’t matter, really, since the one that’s here and now is the one that answers; Stiles wonders if he’s the only one left.

 

“We were. We will.” Derek stands, eyes darting to the door. “When you’re feeling more . . . settled.”

 

“Wait.” Stiles tries to stand only to find himself caught in the web of blankets woven around his legs. He starts kicking at them, cursing under his breath. “You’re seriously just going to leave? After you stuck around for—” The clock by his bed has come unplugged, the display dark and unhelpful, but there’s nothing but the faint orange glow of a streetlight coming in from outside. “Hours, at least.”

 

“I didn’t want to leave you alone.” Derek grabs his jacket off of the back of the chair but doesn’t pull it on, gripping the leather indecisively. “I called Dr. Deaton after the first few hours, and he said you should be fine, but to keep an eye on your breathing and your heart rate until you woke up.” He studies Stiles’s face. “You’ll be all right. Come find me when you—if you want to talk.”

 

“Okay, no.” Stiles finally manages to free himself and clambers to his feet, darting between Derek and the door. “I want to talk now.”

 

Derek shakes his head, looking as if he’s fighting the urge to step back, to retreat. “We should wait,” he insists. “Until you’ve remembered everything.”

 

“Bullshit. I remember enough. I—” He crosses his arms over his chest, wishing for an absurd moment that he wasn’t barefoot. How is he supposed to take an authoritative stance if he isn’t even wearing shoes? “I don’t get you. You started a war for me, Derek—which, by the way: overkill, okay? I mean it, we’re gonna have a serious conversation about that. But then it’s over, I’m home, and you just—it’s not like I’ve been in hiding the past few days, but it seems like you have been. Like you’ve been avoiding me, or . . .” Stiles tightens his arms around himself. “I can’t undo the past two years,” he says quietly. “And I know I’m not the same as I was before, not completely—”

 

“No.” Derek’s voice is a ragged croak. “Damn it, no, it’s not—how could you even think—”

 

“You’re not giving me much other choice! What the hell am I supposed to think when the guy who was willing to tear apart the world for me suddenly can’t even be bothered to show his face?”

 

“How could I? I thought you’d realized—” Derek paces away with a short, bitter laugh. “God. I spent two years wishing for another chance to talk to you, and now you’re here and it turns out I’m every bit as fucked up as I ever was.”

 

“Just . . . I missed you.” Stiles swallows heavily as Derek turns to face him again. It takes everything he has to lower his arms, to drop his defensive stance as he edges forward. “It’s completely unfair that I missed you when I didn’t even remember you, but hey, unfair is pretty much the story of my life.”

 

Derek’s chest rises and falls in a deep, unsteady breath. He reaches out like he’s afraid that Stiles will pull away, slow and careful until his hand slides around the side of Stiles’s neck, thumb brushing the edge of his jaw.


 

“You made me better,” he manages after a moment, “in so many ways. And when you were gone, I just . . .” His jaw works as the words struggle to make their way out. “I was lost. I got so lost.”

 

“Found now.” Stiles reaches up to cover Derek’s hand with his, pressing into the touch. “Both of us. And don’t think that I don’t want to have the whole heartfelt reunion scene, but god, Derek,” he says, not even caring when his voice breaks. “I really need you to kiss me right now.”

 

Cheesy and cliche as it may be, Stiles thinks hazily, he hasn’t really felt as if he’s home until he has Derek’s mouth on his, until he feels the press of his lips and the warmth of his breath. The taste of him is a revelation, a drug; he hadn’t realized how deep his withdrawal ran until he has Derek’s lower lip between his teeth, tongue darting out to soothe the sting.

 

“I was afraid you didn’t know.” Derek has an arm around his waist, holding him close, as if he can’t shake the fear that someone will try to steal him away again. “When they said you died, I thought you might have been . . . doubting. Me. Us. I never told you . . .”

 

“God, you idiot. You idiot.” Stiles buries both hands in Derek’s hair, kissing him so deeply that for one dizzying moment he thinks that me might actually lose himself. “I always knew.”

 

He can’t stop touching Derek, can’t even bear the thought of it. Can’t bear to think at all. His hands slip under Derek’s shirt, caught between tight, soft cotton and hot skin. They follow ridges of muscle, trace over the bumps of his spine, relearning his body by touch. Derek’s hands are hardly idle, sliding over Stiles’s skin in turn, over new scars and old and reading his responses like a map of some half-remembered country. And all the time they’re kissing each other like they’re the last source of oxygen left in the world, as if they might truly die if Derek has to stop discovering the taste of Stiles’s lips, if Stiles has to stop dragging his tongue across the line of Derek’s teeth.

 

When Derek pushes him back onto the bed Stiles takes them both down together, unwilling to release the grip he has on Derek’s ass. He laughs, sinking his teeth into Derek’s throat as Derek groans, pushing and tugging at Stiles’s shirt with trembling hands until Stiles leans back enough to let him pull it off. Derek doesn’t waste any time getting his own shirt off after that, and the warmth of skin against skin hits Stiles like a hammer, knocking the breath out of him.

 

“God.” Derek buries his face in the crook of Stiles’s neck, stubble scraping against the tender skin of his throat, and Stiles is hard, so hard, shoving his hips against Derek’s in a desperate search for friction. “You smell . . .” He breaks off on a muffled growl, fixing his mouth over the pulse pounding beneath his lips and biting down, sucking until there’s no doubt of the mark he’ll be leaving behind. “Like you again. You have no idea what it does to me.”

 

“I can’t—fuck. Derek, it’s been two years of nothing but my own fucking hand, I can’t—please—”

 

The words have the desired effect, and he’s laughing, out of breath as he helps Derek get the rest of their clothes off as quickly as possible. He reaches for the drawer in the nightstand and the lube he hopes to god is still there; when he comes up victorious Derek snatches the bottle out of his hand, shoving him back down with one hand splayed out over the center of his chest. Seconds later his mouth is moving in a hot, wet trail down Stiles’s body.

 

“This really isn’t going to last very long.” Derek drops a quick, biting kiss to Stiles’s inner thigh. “I promise I’ll make it up to you later.”

 

Then his mouth is wrapped around Stiles’s cock, sucking hard and messy, groaning shamelessly as he starts to move his head. Stiles can hardly breathe, dropping his head back as pleasure overwhelms him and immediately leaning up again to watch, unable to keep his eyes away from the sight of Derek pulling him deeper with every bob of his head. The stubble on his chin scrapes lightly against Stiles’s balls, the delicate skin at the top of his thighs, burning in the most delicious way. Derek’s cheeks are hollowed out, his eyes closed in blissful concentration and god, Stiles had forgotten how much Derek loves this, loves the taste and scent of him there where it’s strongest.

 

When the first slick finger presses into his body, he knows Derek was right; this really isn’t going to last long at all. Stiles doesn’t bother trying to fight it, just gives himself over, lying back again to focus on the feeling of Derek surrounding him and filling him, thrusting inside and pulling him in. He draws his right leg towards his chest to give him better access, and Derek’s rumble of approval vibrates through him until he’s shuddering at the sensation. Derek’s arm draped over his hips is the only thing keeping him from thrusting up into that welcoming heat, down onto the fingers spreading him open, two or three now, Stiles doesn’t know and doesn’t care. He’s trembling on the edge, his hands carding through Derek’s hair, fingers digging into his shoulders. His mouth is hanging open, gone dry with his panting, gasping breaths, throat raw from the sounds he can’t begin to hold back.

 

It’s agony and relief together when he finally comes, emptying himself into Derek’s mouth with a burst of pleasure so deep it edges around to pain. It empties him out, leaves him wrecked and loose when Derek moves back up his body, kissing him deep and frantic as he settles between Stiles’s thighs. With the last of his strength Stiles drapes his leg around Derek’s waist; it’s all the encouragement he has the energy to give, and thankfully all Derek seems to need. He pushes inside, making a place for himself in Stiles’s body, slick and stretched and relaxed around him. He manages less than a dozen thrusts, spurred on by Stiles’s enthusiastic murmurs as he mouths at Derek’s neck, and when Derek comes Stiles feels it like an aftershock to his own system.

 

He’s missed the weight of Derek’s body over him, the heat of him that has sweat beading on Stiles’s skin as he lies there with Derek going slowly soft inside of him. It feels too soon when Derek rolls aside, but Stiles is still too exhausted to mount a proper protest. He reaches out instead, finding Derek’s hand on the mattress beside him and threading their fingers together; when Derek squeezes his hand it feels like gratitude. Like a promise.

 

“So.” Stiles’s voice sounds as wrecked as he feels, and it makes him smile. “Good talk.”

 

Derek sighs, unable to hide a smile of his own when he turns his head to find Stiles grinning back at him.

 

“You are completely impossible.”

 

“Eh. Improbable, maybe. Unlikely, sure, but here I am.” He swallows back a surge of emotion and heaves a windy sigh. “I sort of can’t believe this is the first time we’ve had sex in this bed. It’s not, right? I just haven’t remembered it yet?”

 

Derek snorts. “Believe it or not, fucking you thirty feet away from your father’s bedroom has never actually been a fantasy of mine.”

 

“Liar. Hideously terrible liar, oh my god,” Stiles laughs. “You totally thought about banging me here; there’s no way you didn’t, all the times you played creeperwolf in my bedroom.”

 

“I’d rather have you back in our bed. The sheets haven’t smelled like you since—” Derek falls silent, his mouth snapping closed.

 

Our bed,” Stiles echoes, his breath catching in his throat. It’s exhilarating and terrifying all at once. “I guess . . . I hadn’t really . . .”

 

“It’s a lot.” Derek takes a deep breath, nodding. “We don’t have to—”

 

Stiles leans over, cutting him off with a kiss. Derek’s free arm wraps around him, pulling in close, and Stiles smiles against his lips.

 

“We can talk about it,” he murmurs, and Derek pulls back just enough to search his eyes.

 

“You’re sure?”

 

“Yeah.” Stiles kisses him again, lingering a little longer this time. “Later.”

 

Derek’s laugh is sharp and surprised, and he pushes Stiles onto his back again, leaning over to kiss him breathless. “But not too much later,” he cautions.

 

“Of course not.” Stiles darts up, pressing a quick, teasing kiss to the underside of Derek’s jaw. “Wouldn’t want to tempt fate.”

 

They’ll put it off, he knows. Words have never been something that they’re good at together; not when they really matter. But words or no, this is Stiles’s now: this town, this life, this smile spreading over his lover’s face. He lost it once, reclaimed it through death and war and pain, and he has no intention of giving it up again without a brutal, bloody fight.

 

So let the worst come if it will.

 

Stiles isn’t going anywhere.